Looking for a romance to get lost in? There are a lot to be found on Stan. Whether you’re after a good cry or something to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling, here are the best picks of the bunch…
* The 25 best romantic movies on Netflix
* The 25 best romantic movies on Prime Video
* All new streaming movies & series
Zac Efron shows off his comedic timing,, playing a 37-year-old man who wakes up to find he’s back in his 17-year-old body. While initially it seems like a second chance at life, it turns out to be an opportunity to reconnect with his children and remember all the things he loves about his wife. Thankfully, the movie uses the quirky premise for humour without ever crossing too far into ‘creep’ territory, and the romance plot is rather sweet.
A 1960 classic produced and directed by Billy Wilder, The Apartment stars Jack Lemmon as an insurance clerk who lets his senior coworkers use his apartment for their affairs in the hopes they’ll promote him at work. Shirley Maclaine plays his love interest, an elevator operator who is also having an affair with his boss. It’s an absolute must-watch for any romantic comedy fan.
One of the most well-loved rom-coms of all time, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth reviving his dreamiest Darcy self, Hugh Grant shining as a charming rogue, and Renee Zellweger pulling the whole thing together with her comedic timing and mostly passable British accent. If you don’t swoon at “I like you very much, just as you are” then what are you even doing watching romance?
Jane Campion’s 2009 film centres on the last three years in the life of poet John Keats, and his romance with Fanny Brawne. It’s visually sumptuous, and the performances of Ben Whishaw as Keaets and Abbie Cornish as Fanny are nuanced and moving. It’s the kind of movie that sticks with you long after you’ve finished it.
Featuring incredible performances from Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams, Ang Lee’s tearjerker about the relationship between two men in America’s west in the ‘60s through to the ‘80s was not only commercially successful but critically acclaimed when it was released in 2005, winning three Academy Awards. Make sure you watch with tissues handy.
Chocolat is a whimsical romance set in 1950s France and based on the novel by Joanne Harris. Juliette Binoche stars as Vianne, a chocolatier who turns a quiet French village upside down when she moves in and sets up shop. Johnny Depp plays her love interest Roux, while the supporting cast of Judi Dench, Carrie-Anne Moss, Alfred Molina, Peter Stormare and John Wood bring the quirky townspeople to life.
The Duff is not without its problems, but there’s something about it that makes it compulsively rewatchable. That something is most likely Mae Whitman, who plays Bianca, an outsider who makes a deal with her next door neighbour Wesley (Robbie Amell) to get help with nabbing the boy of her dreams in exchange for tutoring. It goes exactly how you expect, which is rather comforting.
This 1996 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel is not the best version of Emma, but it makes for light and pretty viewing. While Gwyenth Paltrow is just fine as Emma, Jeremy Northam is positively dreamy as Mr Knightley and Toni Collette is hilarious as the clumsy, poor Harriet. Juliet Stevenson and Alan Cummings as the snobbish Eltons are also highlights.
This is Hugh Grant at his MOST bumbling and floppy-haired, which means it’s also him at his most endearing. The Richard Curtis-penned movie sees Grant play Charles, who alongside his friends attends a series of events and goes on his own journey towards love after meeting an American named Carrie, played by Andie MacDowell.
Based on the novel of the same name by John Fowles and telling two love stories simultaneously, The French Lieutenant’s Woman remains a beautiful and compelling movie nearly four decades after its release. The performances are a particular highlight, with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons playing both sets of lovers.
Holding the Man was directed by Neil Armfield and adapted from Timothy Conigrave’s 1995 memoir, as well as the play by Tommy Murphy based on it. It tells the love story of Tim and John, who meet in high school and are together for 15 years, during which they both test positive for HIV. Ryan Corr and Craig Stott offer memorable, heart-wrenching performances in the lead roles.
Remember Bennifer, the circus that was Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s relationship in the ‘00s? It put a lot of people off this movie (in which the two played a married couple), especially after the disaster that was their earlier movie Gigli. But this is actually a really sweet story of a widower (that’s right—J.Lo isn’t in the movie for long) raising his daughter and learning to love all over again.
Starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, Leap Year features the kind of ridiculous scenario you only find in rom-coms. An American real estate agent travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on February 29, because of an Irish tradition dictating that a man can’t refuse a proposal on a leap day. But her plans go awry and she ends up on a roadtrip with a grumpy Irish innkeeper, who is of course much sweeter than he first appears. It’s all more charming than it probably should be.
Richard Curtis’ ode to love and Christmas is divisive, with many haters—but even more fans. While some parts of the film haven;t aged well, it’s hard not to smile (and occasionally cry) as the interconnected love stories of a group of Londoners unfold. It features one of the most iconic British casts of all time—with Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Liam Neeson and even Mr Bean (aka Rowan Atkinson).
Starring Claudia Karvan as well as Hugh Jackman in one of his very first film roles, this Aussie rom-com follows Jack (Jackman), a truck driver from the Outback who secretly writes a romance novel and uses the identity of his best friend Ruby (Karvan) to submit it to publishers. Mistaken identities, road trips and romance ensues.
One of the best movies of 2019, this French period drama is a sensual, stunning exploration of desire, love, art and the female gaze. Marianne is a painter who is commissioned to paint a portrait of a nobleman’s young wife. The two are drawn together and fall deeply in love. Beautifully written, performed and shot, Portrait of a Lady on Fire truly lives up to the hype.
What better way to escape the current world than by diving into a John Hughes classic? Set to an iconic soundtrack, Pretty in Pink is a love triangle between poor girl Andie (Molly Ringwald), her best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) and rich boy Blane (Andrew McCarthy). It’s one of better Brat Pack movies, and is worth watching (or rewatching) purely for the lip synching scene if nothing else.
Amanda Bynes is at her comedic best in this modern take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, in which Bynes plays a high school soccer star who disguises herself as her twin brother in order to compete in a boy’s tournament. Along the way she falls in love with Duke, played by Channing Tatum in one of his first movie roles.
Nostalgia makes for great comfort viewing, especially when teen rom-coms are involved. She’s All That stars a ‘90s dream cast of Rachael Leigh Cook, Freddie Prinze Jr, Paul Walker, Matthew Lillard, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Anna Paquin and Usher. It’s a modern Pygmalion story with the perfect teen movie soundtrack and a memorable dance scene to boot.
While the premise of Slumdog Millionaire—based on the book Q&A by Vikas Swarup—is a young Indian man being accused of cheating on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, it’s actually a deeply romantic story. Main character Jamal, played by Dev Patel, will do anything for the love of his life, Latika (Freida Pinto). It’s the ultimate feel-good movie.
Also known as 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner is delightful in this fizzy rom-com as a teenager who wakes up in the body of her 30-year-old self and discovers she’s living her dream life, but has not become her dream person. Mark Ruffalo is at his most endearing as her childhood best friend-turned-love interest.
Based on the book by Irène Némirovsky, Suite Française is set in World War II in German-occupied France. Despite being married and living under the watchful eye of her mother-in-law while her husband is away at war, French woman Lucile (Michelle Williams) falls in love with German soldier Bruno (Matthias Schoenaerts). It’s both achingly sad and devastatingly beautiful.
Written by Nora Ephron, directed by Rob Reiner, and starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, with Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby in supporting roles, When Harry Met Sally is perhaps the best romantic comedy of all time. It tells an enemies-turned best friends-turned lovers story that’s smart, sensitive, incredibly funny and features a love confession that puts just about every other movie to shame.
Another ‘80s escape, this time starring a young Nicholas Cage alongside Deborah Foreman. They play two teens from different crowds who fall in love. It’s an updated Romeo and Juliet with a much happier ending. Stan also has the 2020 version if you want to experience the story more than once.
West Side Story is far from a perfect movie and there are many aspects that haven’t aged well, but it’s still hard to resist revisiting this classic musical reimagining of Romeo and Juliet. It’s the combination of singing star-crossed lovers and violent rumbles that are actually carefully choreographed dance numbers that does it. That, and Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno.